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New O'Reilly Nutshell Book Eases the Transition From VB 6 to VB .NET

September 13, 2001

Sebastopol, CA--If all goes as Microsoft has planned, sometime in the next year or so more than five million (and up to eight million) Visual Basic developers will make the move to VB .NET. Visual Basic is currently the most widely used programming language around, its success owing to its simplicity and ease of use. The new VB, that is, Visual Basic .NET, is a from-the-ground-up rewrite of the language that not only adds a number of new features, but also differs dramatically from previous versions of Visual Basic. According to Steven Roman, coauthor of VB .NET Language in a Nutshell (Roman, Petrusha & Lomax, O'Reilly, US $34.95), sooner or later all Visual Basic programmers are going to have to wrestle with the decision to upgrade to VB .NET.

"I say sooner or later," Roman explains, "because you may be able to postpone the decision for some time, perhaps even a year or more. But the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you will put yourself in the position of having to upgrade in a hurry." VB programmers, facing the sharp learning curve associated with migrating to a new language and programming environment, may have mixed feelings about the change. Nevertheless, the authors of VB .NET Language in a Nutshell maintain that there are compelling reasons to begin using VB .NET as soon as possible.

VB .NET appears to offer many changes that VB programmers will welcome. In addition to being a streamlined and modernized language, VB .NET is fully object-oriented, with the long sought-after inclusion of class inheritance and other OOP features. But as Roman, Petrusha an Lomax explain, "The best news is that at long last Visual Basic is an 'equal player' in the .NET Framework; Visual Basic programmers have full and easy access to the features of the .NET platform, just a Visual C++ and C# programmers do."

To ease the transition to the VB .NET, VB .NET Language in a Nutshell goes beyond the bare details provided in the official documentation to provide the inside information that programmers will need to solve programming problems or use particular elements effectively. The book provides complete documentation for the VB .NET language, including all of the new language elements. Following a quick introduction, the first part of the book focuses on the important areas of programming VB .NET, including variables and data types, an introduction to object oriented programming, .NET Framework general concepts, the .NET Framework Class Library, delegates and events, and error handling. The bulk of the book then consists of an alphabetical reference to the functions, statements, directives, objects, and object members that make up the VB .NET language.

Says Roman, "This is a detailed, professional reference to the VB .NET language--a reference that you can turn to if you want to jog your memory about a particular language element or a particular parameter. It's also a reference that you can turn to when you're having difficulty programming and need to review the rules for using a certain language element, or when you want to check that there isn't some 'gotcha' you've overlooked that's associated with a particular element."

VB .NET Language in a Nutshell was written to serve as the main reference for VB 6 programmers who are upgrading to VB. NET. Considerable space has been devoted to the extensive language differences between VB6 and VB .NET. The book will also be useful to developers who are new to Visual Basic, but who have been developing applications in other programming languages, such as C++, and those who are learning VB .NET as their first language and would like to have a definitive reference on their shelf. Regardless of the reason for their interest in VB .NET, developers will find this to be a book to have close by, both as a standard reference guide and as a tool for troubleshooting and identifying programming problems.

Online Resources:

VB .NET Language in a Nutshell
By Steven Roman, Ron Petrusha, and Paul Lomax
September, 2001
ISBN 0-596-00092-8, 636 pages, $34.95 (US)

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